SAVANNAH — Georgia disaster survivors who suffered damage from Hurricane Matthew and were referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration could lose some income-based FEMA grants if they don’t submit SBA’s loan application.
FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance grants may cover uninsured losses for furniture, appliances and other essential personal property, even vehicles. Survivors will not be considered for this assistance unless they complete and return the SBA loan application. The information on the application is used to determine eligibility for income-based assistance.
Disaster survivors in Liberty, Long and other counties are encouraged to register with FEMA and, if referred, complete and submit an SBA application, even if they don’t want a loan. The application is used to check eligibility for additional grants.
Survivors should start the loan process as soon as possible, and those who qualify for are under no obligation to accept loans. If approved and the loan is not accepted, the survivor may be ineligible for additional federal assistance.
Survivors do not have to wait for an insurance settlement. A survivor’s insurance policy may not cover all the replacement, repair and rebuilding costs. A disaster loan is available to cover the difference.
To repair or help rebuild a primary residence, a homeowner may borrow up to $200,000 from SBA. Homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 from SBA to replace personal property.
Businesses may borrow up to $2 million for any combination of property damage or economic injury. SBA offers low-interest working capital loans (called Economic Injury Disaster Loans) to small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations having difficulty meeting obligations as a result of the disaster.
Survivors can register with FEMA:
• Online at DisasterAssistance.gov (also in Spanish)
• Download the FEMA mobile app (also in Spanish)
• Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (FEMA). People who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800-462-7585. The toll-free numbers are open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The deadline to return SBA loan applications for property damage is Dec. 16. Return economic injury applications next July 17.
For more information about loans, call SBA’s disaster assistance customer service center at 800-659-2955, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit sba.gov/disaster. TTY users can call 800-877-8339. Applicants may also apply online using the electronic loan application via SBA’s secure website at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
Survivors may also visit any recovery center where SBA customer service representatives can answer questions, help complete loan applications and close loans. For locations go to asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/home.htm.